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GEAB 125

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 May 2018

NEOM, between a New Jerusalem and the Library of Alexandria

The Middle Eastern mega-city project called NEOM[1] that we have told you about in a previous issue is a real reason to hope. As mentioned last time, the Saudis would not proceed with this project if they truly had in mind an open conflict with Iran. This project is first and foremost a symbol of the desire for the future, modernity and normality of the Middle East. It is intended to show that the Arab world is capable of producing more than just intolerance, fanaticism and violence. This is an essential message to create the conditions for a return of peace to the region, but also to stop the stigmatisation and even the persecution of Muslim populations throughout the world, which is made permissible by the radicalisation of a very small proportion of them – particularly in India, Burma, Europe, Russia, China, Africa… The cradle of the Muslim world has a duty to conceive a new, modern Islam that contributes positively to global dynamics. NEOM is an ideal tool for this.

We remind you that it is a mega-city project to be fulfilled in 2025 (only 6 years’ time) for a $500 billion investment; a city relying on 3 countries – Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt (and we anticipate that Israel will soon join the group) – which will be 33 times the size of New York! From the beginning, it will integrate the more advanced technologies in terms of urban management, energy, environment, health, connectivity etc. (it calls itself a ‘start-up of the size of a country’)[2]; a free city offering a model of cohabitation among all cultures of the world, reconnecting with the historic role of ‘cradle of civilizations’ of the region.

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In summary

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